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Going on Vacations Fueled by Credit

Sandy is 37 years old, a pre-school teacher and is a sole breadwinner for her family. She earns an income of $39,000 a year and owed a total of $41,000 to several creditors. The main cause of indebtedness was due to lifestyle spending, including travel and vacation expenses.


The interview

CCS : Why did you decide to apply for and use credit card?
Sandy : I could buy the things that I want and pay back later.

CCS : How did you feel when you first used the credit card?
Sandy : I found it to be very convenient to make purchases with credit cards; because I could buy and pay in instalments with zero interest.

CCS : How did you realise you may have a credit card debt problem?
Sandy : My bills started to accumulate. I could not afford to pay the minimum balance each month.

CCS : How did you feel when you realised that you have a credit card debt problem?
Sandy : I panicked!

CCS : Did you share your debt problem with anyone?
Sandy : No, I did not share my debt problem with anyone.

CCS : What or who prompted you to seek assistance from CCS?
Sandy : I realised I needed help when I had to take personal loan to pay credit card bills. I googled and found CCS website.

CCS : One of the main reasons cited for your debt problem was lifestyle spending, please share how did you overspend on it?
Sandy : Besides spending on furniture, computer & home appliances, I also spent on an overseas travel trip to the Middle East with my son & mother.

CCS : How did you manage to make yourself stick to the repayment arrangement?
Sandy : I followed CCS’ instruction closely. When I received my salary, I allocate the funds for the monthly repayment first, then I use the balance salary to pay for my living and family expenses. I make sure that I spent within the budget drawn up with CCS at my credit counselling session. I even manage to save a small sum at the end of each month.

CCS : What do you intend to do with the monthly instalment amount after you have completed your DMP?
Sandy : I will continue to save the amount so that I will not have to rely on using credit card in the future.

CCS : Please share a word of advice to people who are newly placed on DMP.
Sandy : I would encourage them to be disciplined to follow the DMP plan and look forward to the day when all debts are fully paid up.

An interview with a CCS Client – This is the third of a series of interviews conducted with Credit Counselling Singapore’s (CCS) counselled clients on our Debt Management Programme. 

Profile of the client is presented based at the time the person approached CCS for assistance, which could be as recent as a few months ago or several years ago.  Name of the interviewed client has been changed. 

These interviews will be published on the 3rd Friday of the month.

Credit Counselling Singapore

Published 16 September 2022.